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Focusing on people will sail us smoothly into the future

Rosário Durão | Lecture, 1. day

We are at a crossroads where humans and machines seem to compete to produce information, products, and services. Yet, tools and technology only exist because we invent them. Sure, we depend on them. But then, we always have.

The difference is that information, tools and technologies eventually become obsolete, whereas our “creativity, imagination, innovation, thinking, experience, leadership” (Michio Kaku) don’t. These uniquely human traits allow us to convert data and information into knowledge—a “complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bound” (Weinberger)—creating the conditions for people to live longer and more comfortable and fulfilling lives, and allowing us to transcend ever new final frontiers.

In this keynote, I will discuss how the design thinking–service design–information design triad is key to achieving this. By placing people at the center, both as developers and users of information, products, and services, this triad affords unique insights into people’s needs, preferences, likes and dislikes, providing industry, business and public service with unique tools to develop effective, sustainable solutions for the most complex problems of today and tomorrow.